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3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages
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3 network science pin points the targets for brand messages

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  • 1. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages Lord Leverhulme famously complained that 50% of his advertising budget was wasted, but he never knew which 50%. Network analysis may finally provide a solution to this problem because of its unique ability to identify and target the most important members of any social network or community. Here's why...
  • 2. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages Most types of networks that we find in the real world, including many social networks, are very robust. They can absorb huge amounts of random damage (i.e. people dropping out of the network), before they break down or cease to operate.
  • 3. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages For instance, if we removed this node from our network drawing what are the consequences for our network? The answer is - not very much.
  • 4. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages In fact, we could remove rather a lot of nodes like this from our network before anything bad begins to happen. This is because most of the nodes in any network tend to be relatively peripheral or unimportant in terms of their network significance - the 80/20 rule probably applies. This means that when most nodes are removed from a network the effects will be very slight and the network will continue to function quite efficiently.
  • 5. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages However, what happens if we remove this node from our network? Immediately we can see that by removing just one ‘key’ node results in a significant network breakdown. In this case the subgroup of which this node was a central element ceases to exist.
  • 6. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages Likewise we could remove this similar node on the right and achieve the same result.
  • 7. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages What's more, there's another node in the middle connecting these two subgroups together . If we remove this node from the system the network breaks in half and communication between the two subgroups grinds to a halt.
  • 8. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages This demonstrates a fundamental principle of network science. With most nodes in a system being relatively unimportant, the laws of probability ensure that such nodes will bear the brunt of any random attacks. In many ways, ‘random attack’ can often characterise the approach of traditional advertising. Despite the best efforts of media planners to target a brand’s advertising budget effectively, the ‘blunderbuss’ nature of much above-the-line advertising means that a lot of media investment gets wasted on ad exposures to consumers that don’t represent an advertiser’s target market.
  • 9. The Influence Engine: Network Science pin-points the targets for brand messages However, the key nodes in a system are incredibly vulnerable to targeted attack. But if we modify one feature of this 'key node' principle by swapping the word "attacking" for " targeting", it means that if we can find a way to identify key nodes in a network we can increase our leverage over, or ability to manage and influence, that network. This is precisely the core function of network analysis and Dollywagon's Influence Engine.

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